Sitting is the new smoking

If you ever wondered if the ‘inactivity pandemic’ was really a problem, imagine it being compared to smoking.  CBS News just reported that “Sitting is the New Smoking” Our partners at PHIT have the full story here.

If you ever wondered if the ‘inactivity pandemic’ was really a problem, imagine it being compared to smoking.  CBS News just reported that “Sitting is the New Smoking – See more at: you ever wondered if the ‘inactivity pandemic’ was really a problem, imagine it being compared to smoking.  CBS News just repo

Congratulations to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

The Division III Warhawks became the first NCAA institution ever to win the national championship in all three major men’s sports (baseball, football and basketball). Read about their awesome accomplishment here.

Even more on parents and playing time

Wednesday, we published an email a travel-ball coach sent to us about concerns his team’s parents were having with playing time. You can read that email and our response here. We got another email from this coach explaining his stance. We provided him with some new advice on a way to possibly address a parent who seemed greedy about their child’s time in the field.

(Coach’s email response):
Ironically, every boy on my team plays at least 2-3 innings a game depending if we are in the field for all 6 innings and I bat my entire lineup.  However, there are individuals that do play an entire game based on their ability.  
I understand.  I’ve been on both sides of this coin many times since I have multiple children in travel sports and know that a parent always wants more for their child, but an email that I received today just set me off and I am desperately trying to collect my thoughts and respond to the parent rather then react.  
This child, that I received this playing time complaint about is one of my starting pitchers and when he isn’t pitching, he plays the OF.
One can never please everyone all the time.

(Our reply):
Sounds like you have a fair system. It might be wise to ask this person which child they feel should have to sit out so that their boy can play more. That might put it into perspective for them.

Wisdom of Lefty

We’re big fans of both Phil Mickelson and’s Rick Reilly. This article, on Rick’s visit to the Mickelson home, shows why. Courtesy

Read the May issue of OnDeck!

May’s editions of our popular OnDeck Newsletter are chock-full of great information. Our soccer issue features an article by Dave Simeone and the baseball edition is highlighted by some great pointers from Nate Barnett. Check them out for these great write-ups and much more!

More on parents and playing time

We received the following email from a coach of a travel baseball team. We thought we ‘d share his question and our response:

Dear Sir,

I am having some issues with parents and complaints of playing time for their sons thus far in our season.  Everyday I find myself in a dilemma on trying to win games and “being fair”.  We are a relatively new travel baseball team at the 10U level, and I do understand that the financial commitment is significant at this level and I do try to play all of my boys every game, but I still hear a lot of rumblings about playing time.  Each game, I prepare by attempting to place the best team that I feel can put us in the best position to remain competitive for all six innings, regardless of the outcome.  However, there is still complaints.  I was wondering if I may use your statement that you say that you have used to address playing time on your teams.  I feel that this is the best, most straightforward statement I’ve come across in trying to quell their issues with my ability to coach their children.  

Thank you for your time.


(Name withheld)

Hi ____,

Thank you for reaching out. I am not sure which line you refer to, but sure, you are welcome to use it. I do, however, have a little concern with your comment about “trying” to play everyone  on your team each game at the 10U level. I believe if you read more of our articles on playing time etc. you’ll see we feel very strongly that at that age level there should never be a game where every player doesn’t get to play at least a couple of innings. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every player should get to pitch or play any position they want, but regardless of the financial commitment, if I had a 10 year-old who went to a game and didn’t get in the game at all, I’d have a problem.

Thanks again,

This is super-cool

Conrad Gregor, who plays for the Quad City affiliate of the Houston Astros his his first home run of the season over the weekend. What’s so special about that? His dad, who drove five ours from Indiana to see him play, caught the ball. Watch the catch here. You can see where the kid gets his ability.

Correction! May, 2014 OnDeck goes out Wednesday the 28th

This is a correction to today’s earlier post. Because of the Memorial Day Holiday, OnDeck will go out on Wednesday instead tomorrow. Don’t miss it!

May, 2014 OnDeck goes out tomorrow

Make sure you sign up to receive this month’s issue of OnDeck here. Tomorrow’s edition is full of informative articles and tremendous offers. Don’t miss it!

Don’t Be Afraid to Coach!

One of the most difficult jobs youth league administrators face each season is rounding up enough volunteers willing to coach. If you’ve never coached a youth sports team before, it is natural to feel trepidation and to figure someone else can do a better job. But here are a few reasons why even you should have the confidence to say, “I’ll do it.”

I get it. It can be a little scary. I had a unique background in that my summer job for seven summers in high school and college was coaching a rec baseball league. I was on the field from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM five days a week instructing kids ages 6-15. So when it came time for own children to start playing sports, there was never a doubt if I would be the coach.

However, the first team I ever had was not in baseball but in pee-wee roller-hockey at the YMCA. I had never played hockey growing up. I can’t even skate. I certainly didn’t have any drills or practice plans. But I just figured out some basic exercises for the kids to do and, most importantly, I was enthusiastic. I exhorted them to play hard, encouraged their effort and was their biggest cheerleader. After the season the parents all seemed to think I did a great job, and I know the kids didn’t want to have it come to an end.

In the sports world, how many times have you seen a player with less talent outperform one with more ability because of hustle and hard work? It’s the same principle here. You can make up for lack of knowledge and experience with enthusiasm and effort. If your main objective at each game and practice is to inspire your players to do their best, to eagerly praise every accomplishment and pick them up after each failure, even if you’re not the greatest coach your players will respond positively. And if the players are always giving 100% because they are following your example, if they are having fun because you bring humor and a positive attitude, then their parents will overlook any technical shortcomings. The parents of the hockey team I coached didn’t know and didn’t care that I’d never played or even skated before.

Say you’d love to coach but you don’t have time? I know people with very demanding jobs. But they ask for the time off, make it up evenings and weekends, and their bosses understand. Let’s say we’re talking about a practice and two games per week. Maybe six, seven hours a week total for a few months. Couldn’t you get into work an hour earlier, stay an hour or two later a few days a week and make it happen?

And if it is your competitive nature that is standing in your way, put your ego aside. Its not that big of a deal if your team loses more games than it wins. Who’s going to remember in five years? Can you be a positive influence on a group of kids? Can you teach them that winning and losing isn’t as important as trying their best and being a supportive member of a team? Can you have enough fun during practices and games that they’ll all want to come back again next season? You just read the job description for a successful youth coach.

Someone has to step up and volunteer to coach or there are no youth sports. We all can’t simply expect it to be someone else’s job. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be good at it. Maybe you’ll love it and you’ll come back every year hereafter. And even if you decide that one season is enough, at least you gave it a try. At least for a couple of months, you volunteered your time to help the community. No, years from now you probably won’t remember your win-loss record. But when someone pulls out an old team photo of a group of smiling kids in their new uniforms, you’ll see yourself standing tall behind them. And you’ll be glad you decided to put yourself out there and let them call you, “Coach.”

Brian Gotta is President of CoachDeck LLC ( He can be reached at